Climate change

I do recognise that Climate change is the most important challenge we face not just as a country but globally. The risks of severe flooding, of heatwaves, the spread of diseases, the loss of precious wildlife and coral reefs, of poor air quality here in the UK and those ever-rising sea levels across the world is incredibly worrying.

Can I reassure you that the Government is acting.

The UK has played a leading role as the world has worked towards a global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Paris Agreement. Since 1990, the UK has cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, the best performance on a per person basis than any other G7 nation. Britain is firmly on track to meet the 2050 target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases by 80 per cent. Today nearly 50% of our electricity is generated by renewables when nine years ago it was only 5%. The UK’s CO2 emissions fell 2 % last year to 364 million tonnes, the lowest since 1888. That said globally emissions are increasing as China the US and India have seen theirs rise and we are doing all we can to work with them so they have reduction programmes in place.

Locally we now have the Rampion offshore windfarm which is based in Newhaven which is now producing electricity for over 350,000 homes and as your local MP I am working with local groups such as Ovesco to increase the supply of electricity from renewable sources and I am sponsoring a bill in Parliament to prevent fracking in the UK so that we do not move towards increasing energy sources which will increase CO2 emissions.

That said, I do recognise that more needs to be done by all sections of society, which is why Ministers have asked the Committee on Climate Change for advice on a net zero emissions target. Limiting climate change is also an international effort and I very much hope that the UK gets the opportunity to host the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2020, so we can further encourage our friends and allies to do more. The Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy identifies and targets the huge potential opportunity for the UK from clean growth and our transition to a low carbon economy through the 2020s. This includes a detailed plan to create thousands of highly skilled, well paid jobs and to help protect the climate and environment upon which future generations depend. 

My Conservative colleague, Alex Chalk MP, presented a bill to Parliament to lay legislation to make the UK meet the next zero target. While the bill progressed to second stage only four Labour MPs supported it. If we are truly to tackle climate change we do need a cross party approach to achieve this and not make climate change a political football.